Paul got there later than usual. Hoppe was late, everything was behind. Then, for some reason I looked at the clock at about noon, and said to myself, "well we don't start until 12:30, so I still have time to write my opening monologue." Ten minutes later as I was beginning to put pen to paper, our director called out, "thirty seconds"…so I had to wing it.
I used to wing the opening piece every week, but when I got to Cincy, the producer thought I was rambling a bit and to give the broadcast a strong start each and every week, he asked me to script just that one piece (really, when you think about it, the only piece you can script in the world of sports radio play by play). He said if I felt comfortable after a few weeks to keep it that way, if I didn't, I could go back to the old way.
Now, I HATE having my cheese moved, but I tried it, and whaddya know, I liked it, and have kept it as part of the repertoire since. Except yesterday.
Still, I was focused and pretty good at the feel of the opening minute's piece, so it came off generally without incident.
The game was sort of like we thought it would be, except, and it's a big deal, the Trojans got into the red zone and couldn't finish the deal, settling for field goals and keeping the Dogs around for the end. Moved the ball pretty well other than that, especially considering no DJ and later no Smith. Dogs had to play nearly perfectly to stay with us, Stanback made some great throws, our pass defense is still getting caught between the seams of the zone, but look very strong when playing man coverage.
Honestly, I thought the Trojans were clearly the better team, one that almost lost.
At the end, I made an impassioned plea to put the rules back the way they were. I know full well the new rules had nothing to do with the finish. Clock stops to move the chains, just like always, then the ref starts it up and you better be ready. The Huskies were not ready. They goofed, and lost.
Again, with the product as good and fun as it is, why in the world would the NCAA want to shorten it and make it less exciting? Because it's too LONG? By, what, fifteen extra minutes? Sheesh. This is brought to you by the same people who say they can't extend the season by one week for two more teams (out of 119) and two weeks for two others due to study conflicts, yet let football be played, and basketball, and virtually every other sport, for as long as the playoffs take not to mention on virtually every day of the week. College football is now played 7 days a week.
Great pass on the old playground "sleeper" play on the fake field goal TD toss by the TD master Mike McDonald. Yes, we got all excited in the press box again. And the kid has a career rating of 530.8 (2-2-24-2) I looked it up.
Other than that, though, too many other field goal tries that were not faked and were good, thank goodness. We have got to start finishing drives with TD's. Cal is looming, and is coming up quickly. And they look like the favorites right now.
** 9 undefeated teams in division I, 8 winless.
**I graded out the broadcast without hearing it back at about an 88. Starting to listen to the Washington State game tonight, amidst watching baseball, college football and NFL game.
** Barristers got crushed by eventual league champ Eagle Rock. The emotion of revenge is good for about two minutes. 35-7 final. Marshall QB might have fractured wrist. Receiver Moses Gilchrist getting triple teamed, and frustrated.
**Big games this week: Nebraska at Kansas State. UCLA at Oregon, Cal at Wazzu. Ohio State at Michigan State, #2 Florida at #11 Auburn, does Auburn lose two in a row? (Yes). BCS ratings out next Monday for the first time. I think we will be #2 in that. One thing for sure, it won't be Ohio State vs. Michigan in the BCS final, but they might play for a spot IN the game.
Columbus day used to be October 12, they moved it October 9 this year. What can you say about a guy who did not discover the United States, barely discovered part of the Caribbean, was universally hated by his shipmates, and was (who wasn't) cruel and awful to the natives he did happen to find. Ohio State is in the city named for this guy. That's all you have to know.